The capital of the United States celebrates this Friday a massive protest against racism. Thousands of people gather at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Washington to mark the 57th anniversary of the historic speech I have a dream (I have a dream) of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. The mobilization has gained relevance in the face of recent police attacks on African American citizens in different parts of the country.
The protest on this occasion is named Get your knee off our necks (Remove the knee from our neck) in reference to George Floyd who died of suffocation in May under the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis. After Floyd’s death, several demonstrations began in numerous cities across the country to call for a halt to police violence against African Americans.
Interest in this demonstration has grown in recent days after the riots in Kenosha (Wisconsin), where last week a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, in the back when he was answering a call for an “incident domestic”. Blake’s family – who survived the attack and is in hospital – is expected to speak on the same steps that Martin Luther King spoke on in 1963.
Family members of George Floyd, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans who have been attacked by the police for the color of their skin will also participate during the event. Speakers will include civil rights leader Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. Organizers have asked protesters to wear masks and maintain social distance.